March 21, 2014
TERRORIZING THE TYCOONS:
Russian economy, tycoons take hit in Crimea crisis (NATALIYA VASILYEVA , 3/20/14, Associated Press)
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2014 3:53 AMRussia's most powerful businessmen waited for over an hour Thursday to hear from President Vladimir Putin, whose decision to annex the Crimean Peninsula has cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in market value.When Putin finally showed up, he spoke to them for five minutes - and gave them no reassurances that they or their companies will get any respite from the uncertainty created by the takeover of a piece of land of little value to them beyond national pride.Russia's economy has been pinched by the crisis over Crimea, even before the new sanctions the U.S. and Europe announced Thursday.The Russian stock market has tanked 10 percent this month, wiping out billions in market capitalization. Economists have slashed growth forecasts to zero this year and foreign investors have been pulling money out of Russian banks. The Standard & Poor's ratings agency on Thursday cited all these issues when it cut its outlook for the country.Because U.S. and European leaders have said they are willing to impose ever stiffer sanctions, ratcheting up the pressure on Russia step by step, the concern is how severe the penalties might get.